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By Staff
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LSU's mascot Mike the Tiger.

Game day in Baton Rogue is bigger than just the game. To fully experience the excitement and team spirit, you need to extend your stay and take advantage of the area’s many offerings.  

Here’s what you need to know when visiting Baton Rouge this football season.

Where to stay:

Accommodations are likely to fill up fast for home game weekends, but the downtown area, with hotels such as the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center and Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge, is an ideal location for access to the weekend's activities. Staybridge Suites-University at Southgate is within walking distance of the LSU campus.  There are also a variety of hotels along the College Drive and Acadian corridors.

Beyond the ballgame:

Arrive in town on Friday and head to the downtown area, where you can park the car once and spend the day on foot exploring attractions such as the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, the Capitol Park Museum, and both the new and old Louisiana State Capitol Buildings.

As the day winds down, head to A.Z. Young Park on Third Street for the free concert series, Live After Five. This eight-week, family-friendly series runs on Fridays in September and October and features different bands playing everything from zydeco to funk and soul. Food and beverages are also available.

Find more live music at Third Street’s bars, popular among the college and young professional sets. Or stop by the Shaw Center for the Arts and catch a show at Manship Theatre.  The entertainment venue for live music, theatre and dance also screens a mix of independent, art and family films.

Where to Dine:

While at the Shaw Center, head up to Tsunami.  This sushi restaurant has a great outdoor patio for drinks and views of the Mississippi River.

Ruffino’s is a popular Friday dinner spot, as the restaurant attracts ESPN personalities and former LSU sports stars.

Before game day tailgating kicks off, head to Coffee Call for a beignet breakfast.  Other options for dining before or after the game include The Chimes, TJ Ribs and Louie's Cafe for 24-hour grub.  The Perkins Road Overpass also offers a mix of locally owned bars and boutiques good for passing the time on game day.

Do This on Game Day:

Even if you don’t have a ticket to the big game, you can take part in the festivities.  Stroll through campus at North Stadium Drive, and don’t miss watching the players walk down Victory Hill.  Later, the band marches down Victory Hill while playing “Hold That Tiger-Pregame.” While you’re there, stop by and to see Mike VII, LSU's live tiger mascot.

Where to Park:

Find free public parking in the Hayfield and Levee lots off of River Road and Gourrier Avenue.

A complete LSU football schedule is available here.

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